‘It’s a miracle’: Texas DPS trooper survives horrific, fatal crash involving speeding van on I-10 East

CHAMBERS COUNTY, Texas – A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper was airlifted to a hospital after he was involved in a major crash caused by a speeding driver on I-10 East near Highway 61, officials said.

According to Sheriff Brian Hawthorne with Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy, and a DPS trooper were attempting to stop a driver of a van who appeared to be drunk.

Both officers were able to move the vehicle off to the shoulder; however, Hawthorne said the suspected drunk driver became combative. Additional officers were called for backup.

As one of the last DPS troopers to arrive at the scene exited his patrol car, Hawthorne said the driver of another van that appeared to be speeding hit the patrol vehicle, pinning that trooper against another car.

The van driver who was reportedly speeding died at the scene, according to deputies. The pinned trooper was flown via LifeFlight to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Medical Center area. He was said to be stable and able to communicate.

His tale of survival is rather remarkable, according to a colleague.

“It’s a miracle. The accident was almost making like kind of a pyramid and the trooper was on the bottom of that,” DPS Sgt. Richard Standifer said.

Standifer said that the trooper, whom he identified as Travis Rocz, 34, has been with DPS for six years.

He survived by being hit and thrown into a small gap that existed between the crashed vehicles.

Tuesday, Standifer said that Rocz was up and talking with friends and family and had non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the van that smashed into Trooper Rocz did not survive the accident. That driver has not been publicly identified.

The suspected drunk driver was taken into custody at the scene and was in the process of being charged Thursday.

About the Authors:

A graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown, Ana moved to H-Town from sunny southern California in 2015. In 2020, she joined the KPRC 2 digital team as an intern. Ana is a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, a catmom of 3, and an aquarium enthusiast. In her spare time, she's an avid video gamer and loves to travel.